“I am for Pope Francis” – Wednesday 22nd week in ordinary time -1Corinthians 3:1-9

Reiterating the theme that he began in 1 Corinthians 1:12, Paul dives right to the heart of the matter that was plaguing the fabric of unity among the Church in Corinth. Here were a bunch of big babies who refused to grow up and the only way to deal with the situation was ‘time out’.

Yet Paul can be a gentle matador when dealing with an enraged bull. We know that he addresses the community, many who were detractors and opponents to his teaching as “brothers and sisters.” Many of them perhaps did not feel the same towards Paul for they clearly did not see him as ‘their’ or even worse, as a leader. There were those in the Corinthian community who routed for their favourite preacher; some for Paul others for Apollos. Clearly while Paul had sowed the seeds of the faith, Apollos a learned Alexandrian who took over the community after Paul, had made an impression enough for some to ‘switch’ to the favourite (online) preacher.

So, while Paul calls them his brothers and sisters, he still has to hold a mirror of truth to the Corinthians and what they would see was perhaps not what they expected. Paul tells the Corinthians that they are spiritually no more than big babies. By their actions it is clear that they have not grown and hence have to be given a dressing down like one would do with an errant child. (He calls them infants in Christ).

When Paul had to depart from the Corinthian community to travel back to Ephesus, he recognized that even after ministering to the Corinthians for eighteen months, they were yet on spiritual food that could only be given to infants; they were not ready for solids. Ironically, even after years had passed Paul is saddened to find that they have not grown spiritually and the proof of it is seen in their behaviour. Jealousy and quarrelling over petty human issues had dominated their spiritual life rather than immersing themselves in more spiritual thought.

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